or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Reference Question of the Week – 12/14/08

   December 20th, 2008

Unshelved Comic Strip from 9/27/08When I started this blog, I never really expected anyone to read it. Even now, I know a few of my coworkers check in to see what I'm saying about them, but otherwise I'm surprised when someone from the library community notices what I say.

So I was doubly surprised to meet a patron who reads my blog (you know who you are).

Last week, a patron came in to ask me about the new iPod-friendly mp3 files now available to MVLC patrons through Overdrive. He had read my announcement(s) with interest, but was especially interested in this comment from Jeff:

...There is actually four different ways you can hack the drm to get permanent check-outs too.

The first thing I thought of was this Unshelved cartoon, and explained to the patron that although something may be technically possible, that doesn't make it legal. And that library staff cannot show people how to break the law.

He was disappointed, but usually people interested in hacking enjoy challenges, so I think he's going to try to figure out what Jeff was talking about on his own.

ps: For those keeping track of such things, I'm traveling to Ohio for the week of Christmas to see my family. I'll be back in the new year - see you then, and I hope you have a nice holiday.

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5 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 12/14/08”

  1. Librarianguish Says:

    Travel safe, and stay warm!!!!

  2. Janet Says:

    Where in Ohio? Maybe you’ll be stopping in *my* library….

  3. Jeff Scott Says:

    I am planning a post on Teleread about how to do it. I wouldn’t say it is illegal, but mostly a way you can extend your time with the book in a digital format.

    Shall I post some quick and dirty tips, or would that get you in trouble? 🙂

    Have a safe holiday.

  4. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Janet: I’ll be in the Sandusky area, but it’s unlikely I’ll be visiting any libraries. When I go home, I hardly ever leave the house – being in Ohio is usually non-stop playtime with my nieces and nephews.

    @Jeff: When your post is ready, please provide a link in the comments here – I’m looking forward to reading it.

  5. jessamyn west Says:

    You can give them my email address and I’ll tell them how, but I think I don’t know all four ways….